Sunday, May 25, 2008

Birth Center vs. Hospital

MM and I visited a free-standing Birth Center close to home last week. We both really liked it. It's a group of 4 CNMs who rotate call. They provide all your prenatal care and are with you through your entire birth. They also provide a dula and have the option of water birth. They focus on birth as a natural and normal process, expecting that things will go well, and are prepared when they don't. Their c-section rate is 5-8% (national average is 30%). They do 220 births/year with an average of 1 ambulance transfer/year. They have a great relationship with the local hospital and will go with you if you have to transfer for any reason. It sounds exactly what I want. So why is there still a question? Insurance of course. My current plan is not contracted with them. I might be able to upgrade to a different plan, but it would still be more out-of-pocket expenses for us. Our system is so screwed up. Care with the midwives at the birth center costs less overall and has great outcomes--but because of the way insurance works it will cost me more. I still have some time to decide. I'm just frustrated that this is even an issue.

Just Gestatin'

Not much new around here. Just trying to grow a baby. I've been more tired lately, which explains the lack of posting. I went to bed before 9 PM two nights this week (not normal for me). Otherwise, I can't really tell I'm pregnant. I feel so normal that I made the OB I work with do another ultrasound last week just to be sure everything was still OK. I felt so silly. I had seen the heartbeat less than a week ago, I hadn't had any cramping or bleeding, but I was still anxious that something was wrong. Of course it wasn't. The baby is growing, heart is beating, everything is as it should be. I think it's normal to be a little hyper vigilant after this much effort to get here. I'm trying to relax and trust my body. It would be ridiculous to have an ultrasound every week for 34 weeks, right?
This isn't actually my ultrasound, but it looked similar. There's definitely a baby in there.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Polls Closed

Today was the day. We've been preparing ourselves for the possibility of twins since we got my betas 2 weeks ago. It was a little strange to be back at the REs office, the place where my eggs were retrieved, where "conception" happened, where our embryos spent their fist days. This time I was there not as infertile, but pregnant. Kind of a trip.

Before she went looking around with the ultrasound probe, I asked her if she thought she'd see twins or a singleton. She laughed and said, "Twins--but there might be just one, I've seen about everything." Then the probe went in. First she checked my ovaries, still a little large, but overall they looked good. Then it was on to the uterus, where she found a perfect, single fetus measuring just right for my dates with cardiac movement and everything. Absolutely amazing.

It was a little bit of a let down (more for MM) that the second one didn't stick around, but overall I'm excited at the prospect of a "normal" pregnancy. I wasn't looking forward to the high risk multiples scenario, even though I know there are tons of twin gestations that go perfectly well. For me, it's one less thing to worry about. So, if you were hoping this was going to turn into one of those fabulous blogs about multiples (Suz), you're going to be a little disappointed. Sorry. I'm just excited about my low risk pregnancy. I even called a birthing center today and set up an appointment for a tour and consultation next week!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I was so wrapped up in this whole IVF cycle and the shock of pregnancy that I almost missed Mother's Day. Mom's Day is a mixed bag for me and MM. His mom died 3 1/2 years ago, so it's always a little sad. We still have his grandma and aunts, my mom and grandmas, but we both feel the loss of his mom. These "special" days bring it out.

I remember last year when we were trying to get pregnant. I had fantasies of taking a HPT on Mother's Day and getting the plus sign so I could tell MM we were going to be parents. It didn't happen that way of course.

Now, a year later I got my positive result, but I still don't feel like I have license to celebrate the day for myself. I don't look pregnant, I don't feel pregnant, but I am in fact pregnant (I took a HPT a few days ago just to confirm that the betas were actually mine). Maybe the ultrasound on Thursday will make me feel a little more pregnant. I'm looking forward to seeing something other than an empty uterus and hyper-stimulated ovaries.

Next year I hope to be celebrating this day with a 5 month old (or two). Happy Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Clean Sheets

Monday night I came home to find our bed stripped. While normally this would make me happy, yesterday I was annoyed. I had just washed our sheets the day before, but since I was asleep (on our clean sheets) when MM got home from work I didn't get a chance to tell him. Being the industrious man that he is, he took it upon himself to wash the sheets while I was at work.

I guess there are worse problems to have. Now we have doubly clean sheets, and I have a great husband who is going to be a great dad.

In case you're wondering, I feel fine. No morning sickness or anything yet. I hear it kicks in around 6 weeks, so it should be here before long.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The moment we've all been waiting for...

Sorry to have left everyone waiting so long for this post. I wasn’t trying to be mean, just wanted to make some phone calls first, then didn’t have wireless like I thought we would this weekend.

I resisted the urge to take a home pregnancy test (mostly because I asked our house mate to hide them) because I decided it would be best to wait for a meaningful result. A paired beta Hcg would be meaningful--a negative or positive home pregnancy test wouldn’t give me as much info. Besides, I had based my plans for work and travel around the assumption that we would find out Wednesday night or Thursday morning. If I waited until then, MM and I would have 3 days together to either celebrate together or comfort each other. That didn't make the wait any easier.

Wednesday was a long day. I got up early and went for a walk with a girlfriend before going in for my second beta. I asked the MA at the office who took my blood if they really made women come in for the second one even if the first one was zero. She said yes. Apparently since she started working there 5 years ago, 2 women have had a positive second beta after their first one was zero. It still seems cruel. I asked them to call the results to MMs phone and leave a message. We decided we would listen to the message together when we both got home from work. After a therapeutic muffin and herbal tea at a local coffee shop, I went to work for one of the most distracted days ever.

During our lunch meeting I looked longingly at my friend and co-worker’s belly—she’s 34 weeks pregnant—and wondered if that would ever be me. I made it through the rest of the day, including a long evening clinic, before I got home to meet MM and get our results. I know I wrote a rather hopeful post on Tuesday night, but by Wednesday I had convinced myself that I probably wasn’t pregnant, but that I would be OK. MM was worried too. I reassured him that I really would survive. Then we listened to the message, “This is Jamie from Dr. __ office. I’m supposed to leave a message with your results. Your wife is totally pregnant…” there was some more after that about instructions for follow-up, etc. but we had both stopped listening. I really couldn’t believe it. I’m pregnant! I’ve never been pregnant and now I am. I thought I would feel different.

It was strange after so many negative results to finally get the positive we’ve been waiting for. Suddenly I'm shifting gears from trying to get pregnant to trying to take care of the little life inside me. Of course I'm aware that this pregnancy is still very early and anything could happen. Right now though, I'm pregnant, and that's cause for lots of celebration.

This experience is at the same time deeply affirming and humbling. I can't help but think about all the other women who are still waiting for their positive. They want it just as bad. Why did it work for me and not them? The mystery and randomness of life is hard to comprehend.

The looming question now is still, how many babies. We won’t know until our ultrasound on May 15th. My quants were 167 and 409. Anybody want to take a guess--one or two?